Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lesson planning and Differentiation

There are a lot of accommodations that a teacher must take into consideration when lesson planning. My mentor teacher has a diverse group of eighth graders, many having Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Student Assistant Plans (SATs). Although these accommodations can seem overwhelming, my mentor teacher meets the needs of these students.

I have had experience tutoring many of her students with exceptionalities. One student in particular, is at the fourth-grade level. He needs assistance from his table partner and is given modified tests. Recently, I had the privilege of giving him an oral exam, while my mentor teacher monitored the other students taking the exam. He needed a lot of assistance with understanding what was being asked of him in each fill-in-the-blank question, but once he knew what the question was asking him, he knew most of the answers to these questions. He is a hard worker and pays attention in class, but he definitely needs to be given exams in this manner in order for him to successfully and correctly complete his exams.

After spending this past and current semester at Suncrest Middle, I have seen why it is necessary to plan for and make accommodations for students and how those accommodations are made possible with the collaboration of other teachers and pre-service teachers. Because it is plausible to believe that others are not always available to help, the teacher must, at times, attempt to meet the needs of these diverse students on her own. So I pose this question:
Is it possible for a teacher, without the collaboration of others, to meet the needs of diverse learners?


  1. That is a very good question! Since classrooms have become so diversified, teachers face this problem everyday. Sometimes you can partner the low-achieving student with a higher-achiever. Group works sometimes works, but you have to be careful that all students are actually participating. And behavior is always an issue with groups. Otherwise, just being aware that the student is paying attention and actively involved and modifying lessons is what you have to do. Your mentor teacher will have other suggestions.
    It is good that you are getting experience with IEP's and SAT's, because you will undoubtedly have those students in your own classroom someday. It sounds like you are very much involved with the students. Keep up the good work!
    I had to comment on your Albert Einstein quote. I have always been sad that kids seem to lose their imagination as they progress through school. I think that we, as teachers, need to do all we can to encourage imagination, even in high school students.

  2. I feel all teachers need to collaborate with others, whether it is other teachers, special education experts, or administration. However a teacher must also be aware of her classroom and make alternate assignments or accommodations for diverse learners and learner styles to ensure the flow of the classrooms and lessons. We will have students of all different abilities in our classes and have to be able to plan and handle all situations that arise in our classrooms, without depending on others for every situation.


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